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Penn State dominates the Minutemen, 48-7

By Kenny Varner


UNIVERSITY PARK – It was 0-3 meeting 3-0 Saturday at Beaver Stadium as the Penn State Football team was wanting to inch closer to the six-win plateau – facing the winless UMass Minutemen in a 4 p.m. start.

Posting a defense that allowed an overage of 200 yards on the ground, the Minutemen would be tested from the semi-profitable Penn State running game led by Bill Belton.

But the Lions also know how to put the ball in the air with quarterback Christian Hackenberg leading the offense. With strong receivers like Jesse James, Gino Lewis and DaeSean Hamilton, things looked fairly good that the Nittany Lions would run away with the game.

And much to the possible script, the Penn State offense rolled all over the UMass defense 48-7.

Penn State opened the game with the ball as the Minutemen deferred to the second half.

The Lions drive stalled on its first possession of the game, handing it over to UMass.

Defensively, the Nittany Lions defense started a little sluggish.

UMass opened with an 18-yard gain and started to roll downfield

With 11:56 the Minutemen missed a golden opportunity to put points on the board but their field goal sailed wide right.

Despite dodging a bullet on the first UMass possession, the Penn State offense continued to play rusty.

A catch by Jesse James got the Lions their first, first down of the game.

On two consecutive runs Zach Zwinak got the running game started, picking up another first down.

However, the drive almost fizzled at midfield but Hackenberg’s fourth down keeper kept the drive alive.

Belton broke open a 13-yard run, putting the Penn State offense down to the Minutemen’s 30.

Sam Ficken came in to put PSU up via a 42-yard field goal attempt. Ficken was automatic, giving the Nits a 3-0 lead with 6:17 left in the opening quarter.

After the field goal, the Penn State defense stood tall and got the ball back to its offense.

With one play Akeel Lynch rolled for a 46-yard scamper, putting the Lions back in striking distance.

Hackenberg was sacked on third and long, sending Ficken back out on the field for a second field goal.

Ficken’s 40-yard field goal was automatic, upping the PSU lead to 6-0 with 2:38 left in the first.

After the first, Penn led in total yards by a 101-73 margin. Hackenberg had 32-yards through the air while Lynch led all running backs with 50 yards.

On Penn States first touch of the second half, Jesse James got the quarter going on a 16-yard reception.

Hackenberg kept the drive alive finding Lewis on another 16-yard pass completion, putting the ball on the Minutemen’s 32.

Hamilton got into the act catching a Hackenberg offering for an 8-yard gain to the 24.

Belton ended the drive on a 24-yard touchdown run, upping the score to 13-0 with 10:11 left in the half.

After a fumble recovery, Belton found his way back in the end zone from 20-yards out, giving the Lions a 20-0 advantage with 8:48 left until the intermission.

As the game went on, the defense settled in and hounded the Minutemen’s backfield including quarterback Blake Frohnapfel.

Eugene Lewis’ 38-yard reception gave the Nits another chance to cash one in before the intermission, getting the ball to the UMass 10.

After a UMass penalty, Penn State gave it to Zwinak for a 5-yard touchdown run, upping the first half lead to 27-0.

Penn State marched down one last time before the half, ended. Hamilton started of with a 35-yard reception that was followed by a Hackenberg 11-yard reception.

Belton nearly had touchdown number three as he took the direct snap down to the one- yard line.

Zwinak picked up his second touchdown from one yard out, upping the Lions’ lead to a comfortable 34-0 lead.

With a huge lead and the defense dominating, Lynch added to the runaway as he scores on a 15-yard touchdown run, making it a 41-0 PSU affair.

Even in the second half, the Minutemen couldn’t seem to catch a break as they could not get anything going offensively and on special teams.

Penn State took out there starters midway through the third quarter but that didn’t stop the Nits offense.

When the dust settled in Saturday evening at Beaver Stadium, the Lions proved to finish what they set out to do…Make one more step closer to being bowl eligible.

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